VIJAYAWADA: The fire department, which is facing a severe shortage of equipment, has finally acquired 18 latest fire tenders at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crore. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated the fire tenders by waving a flag at his residence at Undavalli on Monday. With this, the total number of fire tenders in the State has reached to 203.
Addressing the media on the occasion, the CM said the department purchased advanced fire fighting vehicles that have water storage capacity of 16,000 litres. "As the vehicles have large water storage capacity, officials can operate for more time as and when compared with other fire tenders and can control the situation quickly. These type of vehicles are most sought for and there is a huge need to strengthen the fire-fighting mechanism," he said.
Naidu also said he had directed the officials to study and explore the best practices that were being implemented in other states and countries. "We have asked officials to go on a study tour to find and learn advanced fire-fighting techniques," he added.
Referring to the process of evacuation and rehabilitation in Visakhapatnam during cyclone Hudhud, the chief minister said fire officials should conduct rehearsals to prepare the public if any situation similar to cyclone Hudhud arises in future. "To tackle the situations, like during Hudhud, and saving public from unexpected calamities, such mock-drills and rehearsals should be conducted. It will help the public in a lot of ways and will bring awareness on the life-safety skills," he opined.
He also said his government was keen to strengthen the department by giving sophisticated equipment and sufficient staff. "In the coming days, technology will be used widely to rescue and reduce the loss," he assured.
DG K Satyanaraya said the new vehicles would be sent to places across the district wherever the need arose. "These new vehicles are specially designed and will work effectively. In the coming months, more vehicles are yet to come. We have also sent proposals to police recruitment board to recruit for the proposed 55 posts for drivers," he said.